Buhari legacy

Aero invests N200m on automation of MRO processes

…partners RAMCO, carries out 20 C-checks in two years

Nigeria’s oldest airline, Aero Contractors has strengthened its partnership with Ramco, a software company based in Chennai, India, to provide improved digital solutions on the airline’s Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services, costing the airline N200million.

The partnership with commenced in 2019, saw the MRO operations go life in December, 2019. The automation has since made every aspect of the airline’s MRO services accessed and tracked real time for enhanced efficiency.

Seven years ago, Aero Contactors got AMO approval from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) to carry out skeletal services like wheels and brakes, NDT and BSI (Borescope Inspection). The airline later applied for the upgrade of AMO to provide heavy maintenance since the company already had the experience and manpower.

Speaking during a press conference to announce the partnership, Ado Sanusi, Chief Executive Officer, Aero, said Aero was proud of the partnership because it is the first of its kind in Africa.

According to him, “Our services increased in scope with more third-party equipment being brought to Aero’s facility for maintenance, there was need for improved streamlining of our operations through digitilisation.

“The management of Aero contractors therefore, contracted RAMCO, an aviation software solution that covers everything monitoring services from the time we enter into contract with a client all the way to the time the job is concluded.

“It includes the contract itself, costing, billing, logistics, manpower allocation and optimum manpower utilization, thereby saving Aero MRO huge costs especially in Man-hours that are paid for but not utilised efficiently.”

He said the automation will provide efficiency in human resources management, purchasing, inventory, warranty, maintenance, financials Third party maintenance and Sales.

He further explained that its integrated business intelligence tools will allow Aero’s maintenance personnel to measure, monitor and manage equipment with the help of advanced analytics.

Sanusi added that Aero’s relationship with RAMCO is expected to be expanded to include the AOC RW operations in the near future, adding that Aero remained a pacesetter in electronic products and services.

“We are confident that our partnership with RAMCO will yield improved digitalized services to our clients wherever they are located”.

Also speaking, James Ominyi, head of Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO) at Aero said the system will help the airline to track effectively the optimum utilisation of manpower.

“If you are doing things manually, you can hire 100 people and you won’t know who is doing what. But with this solution, we will be able to capture the man power hours effectively. You will know who is playing truancy and you will know those fooling around. You will be able to capture a lot and that is why we have subscribed to the software.

“We don’t have to pay people for what they didn’t do. If you engage someone for eight hours, then he has to do the work for eight hours or else, we will be shooting ourselves on the legs. When we made this known to the management, they bought into the idea. We are fully live on the system,” Ominyi said.

He explained that RAMCO has very wide spectrum of activities and Aero is yet to subscribe to all, adding that as time goes on, other areas of the airline’s operation will be covered but it has to start from the MRO, which is where the major activities take place.

“Eventually, we will go into rotary wing operations, finance, HR, flight operations and other places. We have begun to see the benefits of RAMCO,” he said.

Menaka Shinha, the general manager, Africa, Europe and Middle East, RAMCO, disclosed that the company has over 70 years of experience in IT solutions, adding that apart from other benefits of the automation, it will also block leakages that may have may exist.

Shinha said the successful implementation of RAMCO Aviation Suite at Aero will automate manual work execution process and enable organisation-wide visibility.

She added that, “with modules for planning, work execution, stores, procurement, MRO sales and billing process, RANMCO’S integrated Aviation M&E MRO solution automates and optimises Aero contractor’s MRO services. The solution would help the organization optimizes employee utilization and improve utilization and improve efficiency in billing processes”.

Meanwhile, Sanusi, who reeled out the achievements from the MRO since it started operation in the last two years, said it has performed C checks up to 6C ON Aero and other customers’ aircraft; performed landing gear replacements on numerous customers’ aircraft locally (Azman Air, Max Air) and internationally including Swift Air, Spain, Passion Air, Ghana, GOMAIR, DR Congo and PTY Indonesia; performed reactivation maintenance for many operators on aircraft that have been grounded for over five years and such aircraft flew to Canada and Indonesia without problem.

He said Aero MRO has performed uncountable number of engine replacements for numerous clients, adding that the MRO got Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approval and became the technical partner of DAC International airlines of Accra in 2018.